Two historic Montclair homes — one at 14 Undercliff Road, the other at 172 Lloyd Road — may be demolished if Montclair Zoning Board approves an application by 14 Undercliff LLC.
An application was filed with the Montclair Planning Department to combine these two adjacent properties, according to Montclair Township communications director Katya Wowk, but because there are two historic homes on the properties, the Historic Preservation Commission will first need to review the application, likely at its November meeting. Then, the application will be sent to the Zoning Board of Adjustment for review, possibly at its December meeting.
172 Lloyd Road sold in July 2018 for $3,400,000. The 1907 center hall colonial is situated on 2.4 acres of land bordering Eagle Rock Reservation. Taxes in 2016 were $50,069.
14 Undercliff, a single family home built as a Victorian in 1865 and then later remodeled as a Tudor in 1924, was sold in January 2018 for $3,885,000. Taxes in 2017 were $68,097 for the property situated on just over 3 acres.
Combining the two properties would result in an almost six-acre compound with stunning NYC views. A contractor, with permits for their removal, took down three trees at 14 Undercliff Road, in July, Wowk says. The construction project manager (Petry Engineering, LLC) told the township that no additional trees are currently scheduled for removal and the trees tagged on the property are for site survey purposes.
A major selling point for Montclair remains its character and world class classic architecture, says Montclair Planning Board member Martin Schwartz.
“We used to have a 75-year, no knock down law that protected older homes from just this kind of McMansion building speculation. Instead, the Town Planner convinced our 2012 Council to kill that local law, ostensibly to accommodate language changes in State regulations. However, we really didn’t have to do it. No one litigated. We could have just kept that local ordinance in place, or created new light preservation residential zones that maintained a ‘no knock down’ enforcement,” says Schwartz.